The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is committed to addressing behavioral health disparities among vulnerable populations, such as LGBTQ+ Americans, and will continue to work toward improving the access, quality, and outcomes of behavioral health services nationwide. SAMHSA has a number of programs, initiatives, and resources available for people who are in specific settings or circumstances, including those living in rural areas, people experiencing homelessness, those involved with the criminal justice system, and veterans and military families.
SAMHSA has identified a number of goals and action steps relevant to LGBTQ+ populations that include: increasing social inclusion and reducing discrimination; preventing suicides and suicide attempts among LGBTQ+ youth; developing culturally relevant materials related to trauma and military service; and reducing disparities in access to—and quality of—behavioral healthcare services, among others.
This site is an important part of SAMHSA’s commitment to and direct support of their Strategic Initiatives, as well as the vision and mission of SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity.
In addition, SAMHSA’s Top Health Issues for LGBTQ+ Populations Information & Resource Kit, provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), presents an overview of current health issues among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ+) populations. While many challenges exist with regards to the availability of data, this kit aims to create awareness among prevention specialists and healthcare providers of the needs, experiences, and health status of LGBTQ+ Americans.
SAMHSA developed the toolkit TopHealth Issues for LGBTQ+ Populations – 2012 to equip practitioners and educators on the behavioral health issues facing this population group. SAMHSA also developed a Practitioner’sResource Guide – 2014 to assist families in supporting their LGBTQ+ children.
This product is designed for a wide-range of organizations and individuals that serve LGBTQ+ populations across the country. These include prevention specialists working in State, Territorial, and Tribal community-based organizations; behavioral healthcare providers; medical and other allied health professionals; health educators; technical assistance providers; and LGBTQ+ individuals. The tools in this information and resource kit (i.e., fact sheets and PowerPoint slides) may be used individually or together to raise awareness of the physical and behavioral health status and needs of LGBTQ+ populations.